Steep slopes in viticulture benefit from particularly intense sunlight due to their orientation (south-facing slope). As a result, the grapes develop special aromas that lead to exceptional wine quality. However, cultivation often has to rely on manual labor, as mechanization is difficult in the impassable terrain. This leads to a cost disadvantage compared to flat sites and thus to a loss of attractiveness of this type of cultivation. The Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences wants to counteract this development with the GEISI.
The GEISI is a working platform on spiked rollers that can move on steep slopes without a driver and without a winch. To enable the automated driving maneuvers, the RowCropPilot base autonomy kit from Robot Makers GmbH is used.
The concept vehicle is equipped with a passive articulated steering system and single-wheel drive. The adjustment of the desired articulation angle for cornering is performed via the sensitive control of the individual spiked rollers. Due to the variable hardware abstraction of our software, even such unusual kinematics can be implemented efficiently.
Realized Added Values
In the future, the GEISI will automate work steps that are still carried out today by laborious manual work. This is intended to preserve the cultural landscape along the Moselle, Nahe and Rhine rivers by enabling steep slopes to be farmed economically.
As the GEISI works without a driver, the person previously required to drive the vehicle can be taken out of the danger zone. This significantly increases work safety during risky operations on steep slopes.